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Which Plate Chiller

I am looking at counterflow chillers, primarily plate chillers though. I kinda like the Shirron plate chiller, though primarily because of the price tag. I was wondering about other people’s experiences with this chiller and other chillers. My current plan is to do 5 gl batches but i want capability to do 10 gl batches as that is the max capability of single tier that i built.

Mike

http://www.dudadiesel.com/search.php?query=wort

Couldn’t be more happy with mine.

+1

[quote=“muddywater_grant”]wort | Duda Diesel Alternative Energy, Chemicals & Industrial Supply Store

Couldn’t be more happy with mine.[/quote]

I’ve got a Therminator, and for 5 gallon batches it is overkill - at least it is for me, but I have very cold tap water. You should be fine with the Shirron.

I researched both plate chillers and counterflow chillers before I bought mine and I ended up with This

. I have been very happy with it. I do 5 gallon full boil batches in my garage on a propane burner. Gets boiling wort to 60 degrees in 5-8 mins and cleans up very easily. All I do is replace the boil kettle on the top stand with a bucket of star san and run it through the chiller to clean out any sediment for a few minutes. Then I seal it up with the star san inside it until the next brew day.

:cheers:
Rad

I do 10 gallon batches and used to use a shirron. It worked great but was a pain in the butt to clean properly and it would clog on occasion. I switched over to a convoluted counter-flow chiller and have been incredibly happy with it.

The one thing that I really nervous about with the plate chillers is that I brew a lot of very heavily hopped IPAs. I completely fear that I’ll plug one of these things solid. I would think the hose style chiller probably does not have that issue. Radagast, how long have you had your chiller and how well would you say that it is holding up. I have heard some people refer to water leaks. Does anyone know anything about this?

You really need to filter out the hop material so it doesn’t get stuck in the plate chiller. I use a stainless steel braid in my kettle, but it can get clogged too if I’m brewing a beer where I got an amazing amount of hot break (sometimes happens with pilsner-malt heavy beers) or us large amounts of pellet hops. Whole hops on the other hand help act as a filter and make draining easier.

An in-line filter with a long screen which can be disassembled for cleaning would be perfect. Maybe someday I’ll spring for something like that.

Thanks for the reminder. I have been planning on adding a screen to my boil keggle that goes around the out perimeter of the bottom of the keggle. I plan on taking advantage of the cone shape of the bottom of the keg to hopefully help debris settle out. I think i’m going to build a 50ft counterflow as the more i shop around, the more i’m noticing that i can probably build a 50ft for the same price as buying a 25ft cfc.

I have weldless valves on my kettles so I can pivot the pickup tube upwards to stay out of trub while pumping to the fermentor. This works great. I also built a hop spider although I honestly have only used it a few times. I’m still using an IC and whirlpooling for chilling, the whirlpooling works great for putting hop pellet matter in a cone in the middle of the kettle, although the break and supermoss material settles out flat in the bottom.

I bought mine last July and have brewed with it 8 times since. The only time I worried about a clog was on the 115th Dream Hopbursted extract kit due to the 1 lb of hops. I used one of these
http://choreboyscrubbers.com/en/Products/Ultimate_Scrubber_Stainless_Steel.aspx
over the pickup tube for that brew but haven’t bothered to use it since. Typically I try to get a good whirlpool going before I start draining and the only time I’ve ever had clog issues was at the very end of draining the Plinian Legacy due to the sheer volume of hops. I lost maybe a couple ounces due to a blockage of hop matter. When I cleaned up, I just ran water backwards through the chiller and it came right out and I resumed my typical cleaning regimen for it. Otherwise typically whirlpooling keeps the hop sludge in the center away from the pickup tube.

I too originally looked at the plate chillers but was concerned about blockage and proper cleaning. for the price, the NY Brew Supply cfc was perfect and I have been very happy with it. I have never had any water leak issues and it was a vast improvement over an ice bath. You do end up with the cold break in the fermenter, which to me is no big deal. Also, with the 25’ cfc I drop to mid to upper 60’s in summer and low 60’s to high 50’s in winter based on ground water temp, 50’ may be slight overkill depending on your ground water temp.

:cheers:
Rad

I use a stainless scrubbing pad over the drain of my BK. With whole hops I get zero hop debris and very little trub. With pellet hops I get a small amount of hop debris initially (which can be returned to the pot to filter out the initial crud), then as the hop particles accumulate they seem to form a finer filter to prevent additional debris coming through. After draining the wort the scrubber looks like a big green snowball. Works great and it’s cheap.

Hi all, thank you for the info. I ended up buying a CFC from Ny brew supply. I was going to build a 50 ft cfc but because i could only buy 20 ft of 60 ft lengths of copper where i live, it ended up being much smarter to just buy the thing. I like the plate chillers but i do a lot of very heavily hopped IPAs so i can just foresee a clogged plate chiller in my future if i were to buy one. Next up, time to get a better understanding of water chemistry…sigh.

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